Last June, for Pride Month, country singer Jake Owen googled gayest songs of all time, and he got . . . Cher. Specifically, he got her classic hit song from 1999 Believe.
He recorded a country version of Believe, writing on his website: “I believe #loveislove. Some of my closest friends and coworkers are part of the #lgbt community and I couldn’t be more happy for the progress they have made.”
This is where me, a couple glasses of pinot grigio, and a few minutes of unsupervised activity come into play. I liked what I heard of Jake Owen’s cover so, one night shortly after cocktail hour, I went to my computer and I googled jake owen tour and bought a ticket to see him in concert Atlantic City in September.
P.S. : I am not a country music fan.
And then September rolled around, and Top Cat and I go to Atlantic City, and while he heads to the poker room at The Borgata, I take my seat #16 in Row E at Ovation Hall in the Ocean Casino Resort. I have low expectations.
P.S.: Even though this took place in New Jersey, there are plenty of cowboy hats and boots in this Saturday night crowd. I am not a fan of country music fashions.
And then Jake Owen walks on stage. First of all, I thought Jake Owen looked like this:
In fact, Jake Owens looks like this:
He is, in fact, gorgeous.
And there I am, in the fifth row from the stage, dead center, and he is Right. There.
He does Believe half way through the two-hour show, and then he does a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City, and they are the only two songs that I know.
I must say, it was a delightful concert and at the end, after he’d done a few encores including a cover of Snoop Dogg’s absolutely filthy hit from 1998, Gin and Juice (Jake Owens said that it was his favorite song in high school. P. S.: I was 42 in 1998), the young couple next to me asked, “Did you like the show?”
I said, “Oh, yes! I think he’s fantastic!”
The guy, who looked as if he was born in 1998, asked me, “So, are you a Jake Owens fan?”
I said, “Not at all — I didn’t know any of his music until tonight.”
He and his girlfriend looked puzzled, and she asked me, “Then why did you get a ticket to the show?”
(When you are buying tickets for a party of one, it’s rather easy to get a good seat. There was one single place left in this primo row.)
To answer her question, I lied through my teeth and said, “I like to try new things.”
We all know that I never like to try new things. I like routine and no surprises and staying nice and cozy well within my comfort zone. But in this case I am very glad that I went to a country music concert by myself on the last Saturday night of Summer 2019. Hoo boy, I love country music. As long as it’s by Jake Owens.
Happily, because Top Cat and I are Booming through our sixties, we were home from Atlantic City by Sunday afternoon so we could sit in our backyard and sip wine on the Final Summer Evening, with a few of our favorite drinking buddies:
We did not expect that Lickety would make it all the way through the Summer of 2019 but lo, he’s still here, and we make sure he gets loved every single day.
And then it was Monday and we woke up to Fall, although it was 90 degrees here on the north shore of Long Island and so, so far, Fall has been non-traumatic.
Friday, September 28 is when I install my Haunted Bookshop at the Bryant Library, the first Halloween decoration of the season here on the north shore of Long Island, and today I am going to give you a preview of a few pieces.
Speaking of googling (see: topic sentence, above), I found this on the inter webs under scary book art:
I am not a fan of folding pages to make book art. I like to see a book shredded, hacked, carved, or knifed — that is, completely desecrated and manipulated. I like to see a book transformed for “art”, and folding pages isn’t transformative. But I liked the architectural add-ons in this piece and I really liked the illustrations. I zoned in on the book title and found it on eBay and made my own scary book art:
I cut out a shadow box on the cover, on the left, but it does not photograph well. I tried to tell a story in the shadowbox, about fleeing a haunted grave site with a mysterious staircase…the other side is just a collage of weirdness. I wanted to leave the title, Tales of Edgar Allen Poe, visible but if I have time, I’m going to knife it up some more.
To tell the truth, “scary” is not what I like to do. I prefer “enigmatic“.
I like it when something looks as if it is about something, but that something is mis-translated, or coming in at an unknown frequency, or seems to shimmer between meaning something and meaning nothing. (Joseph Cornell’s boxes and Richard Diebenkorn’s abstract paintings do that for me.).
And then I got me some Mod Podge and I Mod Podged a Book Club edition of The Gulag Archipelago (1974, 704 pages):
Having Mod Podged the outer pages, the book was solid enough for me to excavate its guts to make a shadow box:
Building from the back of the shadow box, I started to add layers:
There are seven layers in this shadow box college, not counting the butterflies, which are on four layers of their own:
I wonder if there will be butterflies 50 years from now. If miracles happen, and the climate catastrophe is only half as bad as it is now inevitable, and butterflies and polar bears still co-exisit on our planet, we will have the first President of the World to thank:
Greta Thunberg is my hero. In 50 years, I hope she is in charge of everything, and I hope that the word “trump” will have become the common generic term for “what a loaf of crap” in every language on the planet.
As in, “Damn, I just stepped into some trump and ruined my new shoes.”
As in, “Something stinks in here — who forgot to take out the trump?’
As in, “I was so drunk last night that I trumped my pants.”
By now you are probably thinking to yourself, Yadda Yadda Yadda this is all about you, Vivian, but what has The Stromness Rock been up to?
Well, of all things, I almost crossed paths with The Stromness Rock because of all places, The Rock has been to New Jersey!
Dear Reader Carol took The Rock to see famous author Alice Hoffman at the Tom’s River branch of the Ocean County Library:
The Rock was temporarily installed at this statue at the Ocean County Library:
The Rock knows a great PhotoOp when it sees it.
This is the one and only Jersey Shore (Long Beach Island):
If you know your Frankie Valli, you know Barnegat Beach. Here’s the Barnegat lighthouse:
Dedicated to lighthouse keepers everywhere:
And on to the Delaware River, where floats the world’s oldest and only in-tact square-rigged sailing vessel, the 1904 Moshulu. Having sailed around the world, the Moshulu is now a restaurant anchored at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia:
Sunset cruise with the Philadelphia skyline:
But, saving the best for last:
Can’t you hear The Rock’s purr?
See how I did that? I arranged for us to end today’s meeting of the minds with a photo of Carol’s Benjamin Bunny (those pink ears!) so we can dwell, for a moment or two, out of this world and inside this heart-warming/mind-soothing image of purity and loveliness.
Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. The truth will set us free, no matter whatever trump the Republicans will throw at us.